• Report: #180918

Complaint Review: Aviation Institute Of Maintenance

  • Submitted: Mon, March 13, 2006
  • Updated: Wed, May 28, 2014

  • Reported By:Norfolk Virginia
Aviation Institute Of Maintenance
1429 Miller Store Road Virginia Beach, Virginia U.S.A.

Aviation Institute Of Maintenance, AIM ripoff, scammed, mounting student loan debt with no credits Virginia Beach Virginia

*Consumer Comment: AIM changed my life.

*Consumer Comment: Time and dedication

*Consumer Comment: THESE CLAIMS ARE PAID FOR

*UPDATE Employee: Know before you go!

*Consumer Comment: aim is not a ripoff do your research

*General Comment: AIM Not to Blame

*Consumer Comment: Aim of Chesapeake VA is a RIPOFF!

*Consumer Suggestion: Aviation institute

*General Comment: AIM alumni

*Consumer Comment: $58.00 per hour ???????????????????

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: aviation institute ripoff, beware.

*Consumer Comment: Advise...

*Consumer Comment: Advise...

*Consumer Comment: Advise...

*Consumer Comment: Advise...

*Consumer Suggestion: Being a student and a parent isn't easy

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I enrolled at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Va Beach, Va. I had seen the commercials and listened to the promises of making $18.00 an hour with the airlines. I was given a flyer of all the benefits of going to AIM.
I met with the financial aid person, Tracy Asper. She told me that I could get loans and grants to attend the school. She did all the paperwork. I wasn't working at the time, so going to school should have been easy. Not if you are trying to go to school for the required 28 hours a week and trying to raise a family.

When I asked about the daycare assistance that was printed on their flyer, I was told that the school did not offer any daycare assistance. Well why even put that on the flyer? So I enrolled my daughter into a daycare program. I had to take time off school when she was sick and the daycare center was not open on the weekends. Paying almost $200.00 a week to attend school and then trying to find a job that would work around daycare and school does not happen. Here's the deal with AIM, the classes are Mon-Thurs 7:30am-2pm or 5pm-11:30pm. You can only miss 18 hours (3 days) per semester (avg of 5 weeks) and all makeup hours must be made up within a certain amount of time. Fridays and every other Saturday the hours can be made up and M-T from 2-5pm. Unless you enroll in the degree program which is held on Fridays 8am-1pm. If you miss the 18 hours you will be recycled and billed again to take that class.

The interesting part is about the billing. I did not graduate from AIM. The credits I did get are NON-transferrable. If I want to complete my education, I must start over at another school or RE-enroll with AIM and be charged for another tuition. I am in debt to AIM for a little over $23,000.00 with nothing to show for it. I have student loans and a nice collection account. I never knew how much I was being charged in loans because the financial aid person filed all the paperwork. Everywhere else, you are billed per credit hour for the classes you take. I was billed for the classes I took and the ones I might end up taking. What did I get for the 23k? Nothing. Oh, the airlines are not hiring at 18.00 an hour. It's more like 9.00 an hour and the training at AIM is not the training you see then advertise in the commercials. The school does not even own any airworthy aircraft nor do they offer any avionics classes. The tools are the equivalent of ones you can find at a flea market. The drop out rate is about 97%. When I asked questions concerning my debt, I was hung up on and my phone calls were never returned. BEWARE of AIM!!

Jonell
Norfolk, Virginia
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/13/2006 01:48 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Aviation-Institute-Of-Maintenance/Virginia-Beach-Virginia-23455/Aviation-Institute-Of-Maintenance-AIM-ripoff-scammed-mounting-student-loan-debt-with-no-180918. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

AIM changed my life.

AUTHOR: Paulina - ()

AIM and the dedicated staff changed my life. Yes the tuition is high, and recruiters will tell you that you can get a job straight out of school for higher than average wages. I obtained a job with no experience straight out of A and P school for 21 an hour, I was on what the call a two year pay progression and was at 27.95 an hour after two years. The company that hired me is a well known turbine engine manufacturer. I was hired to work in their overhaul facility. The only catch was that I had to move 800 miles away from what I called home. I am a single mom and had two baby boys at the time.

Yes daycare was a challenge and I had to get a job third shift to work to cover expenses. But in order to change my life I had to make sacrifices. Is it impossible to accomplish no! Is it difficult YES! But if you are determined to change your life you can. I was a top student in the class and had a good grasp on the subject matter therefore when interviewed I was able to display I had the capability of retaining infromation and a mechanical aptitude. I graduated with a 4.0.

People will say grades do not make a difference but they do and having a basic understanding of systems and how they operate independantly as well as codependantly make a world of difference to top employers in interview settings. Basically your education is what you make of it and you cant change your situation if you are not willing to get up and do something to change it. Is AIM a ripoff....NO! You get what you pay for an A and P certificate if you can pass the tests. It is costly but is worth the money. Currently I have a great job and myself and my children are no longer struggling with finances.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Time and dedication

AUTHOR: A&Piam - ()

Time requirements for an A&P program are set up by the FAA not the school.  The school must abide by the time in class and make up work to keep their operating certificate.  This is a well known and often mentioned policy that isn't a blindside.  Missing too much time and they are required by FAR 147 to fail you out and you must retake the course you timed out of.  That is federal law not school policy.  AIM has some of the most lenient make up work policies in the A&P school game btw.  The school is not responsible for your childcare, in fact no school is.  If your kid gets sick and you have to miss time, you miss time but the school won't go against federal code to make a special case for you. 

Failure of a class at any educational institution is always billed whether it is a time out or a fail out, and they will charge you to take the class over, what is a ripoff about that?

The school advertises that it's credits do not transfer, well like most other technical/vocational schools not completing the course generally ends in dead credits.  A&P programs while built from the same code of federal regulations in far part 147, are not all run the same.  Programs are each certificated individually making transferability very difficult.  Just the way it is.  If you do finish and pass your A&P exams your certificate is worth college credits tho.

I will agree that the recruiters push high paying starting jobs after you pass your exams.   Truth is with 5 years of aviation experience from the military and an a&p I was offered 20 an hour to work in chicago, but cost of living makes that not quite worth it to me.  I took a job paying 15 an hour in general aviation and love it.  The bureau of labor services should be your reference for pay scale when looking into any career field.  Guys like me with experience in the field are the guys the recruiters tell you about, when if you have zero aviation experience you should expect 25 to 30k per year as an a&p.

There are tons of a&p jobs out there, you just must be willing to go where the work is.  Aviation mechanics often live in multiple states through their career chasing work and better paychecks.  Another that is just the way it is.  I finished with a 4.0 and salutatorian after placing my resume online I had 15 job offers in 3 weeks but none local.  Got to go where there is work if your not in an aviation town your probably not going to get a job fixing airplanes.  Large airlines will not generally hire A&P's out of school you got to get practical experience with a regional airline first.  Pay raises come with moving to larger companies once your resume is strong enough.  

AIM is the most expensive A&P program going but not a rip off.  you must be vigilant with your money and find what you can afford aim is large and well known.  The wash out rate is high due to no pre entry exams.  They will let anyone in that can get financing regardless of their current knowledge or dedication level.  Anyone can pass AIM you just have to have the dedication, time, and be willing to ask for help when you need it.  That means coming in on an off day for tutoring.  It's your money you can waste it and miss time or fail or you can ask for help and the instructors will help you without question.  take ownership of your education and money.

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#3 Consumer Comment

THESE CLAIMS ARE PAID FOR

AUTHOR: RonJon - ()

I attended AIM for 3 years on and off. I had to get my own place because I could not stand living in their so called student housing. Which was actually 4 grown total strangers living in a town house. At first I couldn't believe what I was reading in some of these postings. Didn't take long to realize that they were obviously Paid for!! Yes you can pay for blogs and comments for those of you who didn't know. Anyways the school has NO AIRWORTHY AIRCRAFT! and as for the last comment I read 56.00 an hour is totally bonkers! That guy couldn't be sucking on mortar shells in Afganistan getting that kind of money (Paid Comment). I just got my A&P, and already had my avionics license. Let me tell ya It's not an easy business to get into and AIM certainly will not help you with any of your indeavours. It's a total freakin SCAM There are many alternatives out there. For god sake don't make the same mistake I did!

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#4 UPDATE Employee

Know before you go!

AUTHOR: Gator - (United States of America)

Before you jump in, do your home work... and in you are here, you are well ahead of the rest.

I have read several people that feel that they have been ripped off. I cannot speak about the other campuses, but as for Dallas, there is a introduction before you start classes where it is explained IN DETAIL about your responsibilities for loans, etc.

I can also enlighten you about your future in aviation... there are jobs out there!
#1) You are NOT going to start out at top pay, the promises that the recruiters are laying out there are for LICENSED mechanics that have been working for a few years. 
#2) I started out in 1990 at a corporate service center making $11.00. I was hoping to make $9 for my first job. I averaged about a dollar an hour pay raise a year (depending on company profits) and I have been working on planes for over 20 years now.
#3) Think about it. Are we ever going to be without some sort of aviation? Even Burt Rutan hires A&P mechanics to work on his spacecraft (http://burtrutan.com/burtrutan/BurtRutan.php)

The facility in Dallas is one of the best up-and-coming aviation schools in America (in my opinion).
I went to another school (was #2 in the nation at the time) and the Dallas campus not only meets what I had, but exceeds what I had there. Dallas actually has a Learjet in the hangar and YES! students work in it.

The truth of the matter is, it cost a lot of money, but the return will be in your favor. You WILL make enough to pay back your loans and have a good career. It just takes time and commitment to what you want to do with your life.
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#5 Consumer Comment

aim is not a ripoff do your research

AUTHOR: cad22000 - (United States of America)

i went to the norfolk campus and Chesapeake , the instructors were vary helpful and had lots of knowledge in each subject they instructed. i asked lots of questions and was never miss led on the type of jobs that were out there or how much you would make , the tools were adequate , the reason the drop out rate is so high is the rejects are thinking they can skate through with no effort like high school , i got through half way and some of my classmates had no idea what a hammer was versus a screwdriver , he obviously should not have been a mechanic , he later dropped out it became to hard for him , same with most who did drop out for each their own reasons ,  but the knowledge you gained if you really listened and studyied was invaluable ,

i graduated and took my 3 tests and passed all within 2 days then took my DME in one day from 7am till 6pm and received my A&P certificate with no issues , i went to work starting out at 18.50 an hour worked their for a year and quit it was not enough money for the liability , and aircraft work is really sketchy always have layoffs , and how any one who works in the industry or is going to school to get into aircraft , its all over the news all the time Boeing and Lockheed lays off every few years so you cant blame aim for that , it is the industry

i used the experience and my A&P to get a better job now i am making 25 and hour and have never been affected by anything financial and have been working since 2008 when i graduated. if you want to make money in any industry you have to move ware the money is , yes around norfolk starting wage was 9 an hour and top out is around 22 when i was thare in 08 , i moved to ware the money is and have never had an issue. you can not blame aim for your poor research , if you are looking for a career ware you live look around and decided what pays good and what dose not , aim dose thare job provides you with training to get the hours to be able to take the test and also most of the instructors on thare off time will help you for DME prepping, it is all set forth in F A R's if you made it that far . as for the pay they based it off of a national avarage not for ware their campus's are located do your research
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#6 General Comment

AIM Not to Blame

AUTHOR: ronfox - (United States of America)

AIM fulfills its regulatory responsibilities and well prepares serious students for a well-paid career.  No airline is going to start a brand new A & P mechanic at $18.00 an hour.  If you think that, your powers of research are seriously inadequate.  But, after a probation period and a year or so under your belt, if you are a good learner and apply yourself in your job, any airline will pay you a living wage (in the neighborhood of $18.00 an hour) and top-out near retirement at twice that.  Sure it's tough to get a job.  Training and certification never guarantee a job; are you nuts?

AIM will teach you what you need to know to get your A & P certification.  The rest is up to you.  To expect any more from a school is lazy and unrealistic.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Aim of Chesapeake VA is a RIPOFF!

AUTHOR: diduknow - (United States of America)

They have a 35% graduation rate the dont care to help the students. they have had over 15 students the month of july drop out before you join go to the campus and speak to a student they will tell you to run like hell they hinder you from getting a career they have an exellent program just the wrong school
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

Aviation institute

AUTHOR: E - (United States of America)

I saw the advert. in the Orlando Sentinel -- right next to Concorde University - - I went to Concorde and saw what can be described as a 'glorified highschool / tradeschool/vocational education.'   I saw students that looked more like going through the motion than focused and intent as you may see at a more reputable facility. I read some very bad reviews about Concorde ... they did send a very impressive pamphlet in the mail , very professional looking ---   the guy I spoke with spent 30 min. with me on the phone .. (if that tells you anything).

Now on the aviation institute here in Orlando - I know it is next to th e Chevron gas station because when I was getting gas there I remembered that it was a vacant car dealership that used to be there ---- so I know what it used to be and that this place sprung up very recently.  I went in there, and asked about tuition pricing -- and all the receptionist wanted to do was sit me down with someone --  I called and asked about tuition and again the avoidance of the cost of the thing.  After reading reviews here, I see why --   with the job market we are in, and with less people flying because of the intrusions of DHS and TSA -- why would there be a need for aircraft mechanics -- oh I know !! if there is a war .. there will be a need for military aircraft maintanence ? I doubt it , as the military likely wants to train it's own enlistees, not people from private training.

I tried to schedule a tour , got passed around on the phone and then finally hung up on.  When I called back it didn't seem like they were too aware of my call  within in 2 minutes, definitely not too serious, just very casual and lackluster.
They probably aren't paid much and aren't expected to do much and probably don't perform too highly because of it.

I'm not impressed with the little amount that I have seen and heard on my few attempts and I see little future for such training -- unless people are going to be traveling by air soon (remember the air -car listed in popular mechanics so many times) ... 

Based on the fact that they no one could even say it is $10k a year and it is a 2 year program or anything along those lines ...  I'll not be wasting my time in there for an interview .. there is a bunch of these 'quickie' colleges springing up around here -- Herzine is one that comes to mind previously - it used to be a a Bally's total fitness (which closed down) 
.. People think because they are out of a job it's a good time to get some new skills .. but remember people all these skills you pay so much for and may even attain are no guarantee there will be a paying job for you provided by someone/company --- perhaps if you start your own thing that could be something but the jobs are few , the employers are picky and cheap , demanding many hours with your free overtime --- and remember, you only get 2 weeks (10 days ) of vacation per year in the US standard (if you even get that) and in Europe they get  SIX WEEKS VACA !!!!

So -- do what you can with what you have and don't add to the 'debtor nation / people ' problem that already exists in the USA -- government handouts , welfare and debt ... makes for a week people and nation ... be strong and work with what you have --- don't get a 2 or 4 year degree or get your master's and expect something job offers .. you have to _scramble to even get a miniscule job --- unless it's something like a high-turnover, base + commission thing, which is just a short term job which you are not expected to last in ....

Save your money -- there are lots of FREE educational sites on the web ... 
Vocational education is a better/cheaper route to go than going to something fancy and being in debt and having another monthly bill...

There is a college called Full Sail here that has all the fun toys .. film and video,  music making, computer game generation .., etc .. yet most of these students end up in near $100k debt and coming back and working for that college to pay off their debt to it !!
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#9 General Comment

AIM alumni

AUTHOR: Net-Net - (USA)

I would like to take a second to say something about AIM.I graduated from there in January of 2007.Now what this last person just wrote is only half the story and I like how this person "forgot"some very important details.
AIM is a school that has to abide by the rules set by the FAA and if this particular person had stayed in school they might have understood that.You are required by the FAA - NOT THE SCHOOL, to be in attendance a specific number of hours.So, yes if you miss,you have to make it up and to be fair they ARE open for your use everyday except Sunday!!!They have morning and evening classes and you are also welcome to make up time for about 2hrs a day between these classes.You can also make up up to 6 hrs on Saturdays.And if you know you are going to miss a day you can request to take the class opposite of yours!

Now I am a female and had 3 children when I started school and even had my 4th shortly after graduating!So I understand the stress involved with trying to be a parent and trying to get an education,but this person needed to have been responsible enough to have a reliable sitter for school hours,that is NOT AIM's fault!!! Further more I have NEVER seen ANYTHING in or around the AIM campus about child care!! 
I also have to say that it is hard to get a job in this industry,but again had this person gotten through the program they would have known that A LOT of companies do hiring here they just wait for you to get close to graduating to invite you to this stuff,obviously a company is only going to hire those close to graduating anyway.Also if you take the time to graduate the school has EXCELLENT job search help if you have not found anything.

The drop out rate IS high but that is because people want a good job but don't want to sacrifice anything in their daily lives,which is a shame.I believe the FAA does the required hour thing to help weed out those that WANT to do this, from those who just WANT a job!!!I don't want to get on an aircraft being maintained by someone who doesn't really care!......would YOU?
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#10 Consumer Comment

$58.00 per hour ???????????????????

AUTHOR: DaveMech - (United States of America)



My question is for Katherine in Virginia Beach.



Where does your brother work? I would like to know.

I am an aircraft mechanic (A&P) with over 25 years experience. I got laid off from the airlines in 2003. After job searching for a year  the only offer I got was at $15.00 per hour.


I have seen AIM ads in the local papers and I think they are misleading the young people.  The heading usually says AIRLINES ARE HIRING.  I know this is not the case. Airlines are laying off mechanics and outsourcing the work to foreign countries with cheap labor. 



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#11 UPDATE EX-employee responds

aviation institute ripoff, beware.

AUTHOR: J.p. - (U.S.A.)

The aviation institute of maintenance is a greedy money making machine.
many students don't get their A&P license because they can't pass the FAA test.
The cost is over $30,000, which means you will have over $20,000.00 in loans to pay off.
There is an excellent community college in upstate N.Y., called Mohawk Community College-I think. The program is only 12 months long, fully FAA certified and the cost is about $10,000.00! And that's for out of state students!! It's cheaper if you live there.
Check it out for yourself. An A&P lic is the same, anywhere. Why pay 30k, when you can get it for 10k... and with a lot less sneaky nonsense from school management- too numerous to mention.
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#12 Consumer Comment

Advise...

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

Be very careful about that student loan debt. If your debt goes into default, Sallie Mae has the ability to tack on exorbitant fees, and the interested is compounded.

There are countless horror stories of student loan debt doubling and there's nothing you can do about it. student loan debt cannot be discharged through Chapter 7 BK and there is no statue of limitations.

studentloanjustice.org has a lot of info....

Deal with this debt now. if you let it default. you'll never pay it off.
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#13 Consumer Comment

Advise...

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

Be very careful about that student loan debt. If your debt goes into default, Sallie Mae has the ability to tack on exorbitant fees, and the interested is compounded.

There are countless horror stories of student loan debt doubling and there's nothing you can do about it. student loan debt cannot be discharged through Chapter 7 BK and there is no statue of limitations.

studentloanjustice.org has a lot of info....

Deal with this debt now. if you let it default. you'll never pay it off.
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#14 Consumer Comment

Advise...

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

Be very careful about that student loan debt. If your debt goes into default, Sallie Mae has the ability to tack on exorbitant fees, and the interested is compounded.

There are countless horror stories of student loan debt doubling and there's nothing you can do about it. student loan debt cannot be discharged through Chapter 7 BK and there is no statue of limitations.

studentloanjustice.org has a lot of info....

Deal with this debt now. if you let it default. you'll never pay it off.
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#15 Consumer Comment

Advise...

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

Be very careful about that student loan debt. If your debt goes into default, Sallie Mae has the ability to tack on exorbitant fees, and the interested is compounded.

There are countless horror stories of student loan debt doubling and there's nothing you can do about it. student loan debt cannot be discharged through Chapter 7 BK and there is no statue of limitations.

studentloanjustice.org has a lot of info....

Deal with this debt now. if you let it default. you'll never pay it off.
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#16 Consumer Suggestion

Being a student and a parent isn't easy

AUTHOR: Kathrine - (U.S.A.)

I am a 35 yo student a mother of a 4 year old and I have seem to pull this off. I work full time, take 24 credits a semester, raise a child and keep my home in working order. I knew what I was getting into when I started school and I am not complaining. As an adult, shouldn't you have read everything before you even signed anywhere. Trade schools are a risk and a blessing for those who know what they want to do. You CAN make a lot of money being a CERTIFIED FAA Mechanic. My brother is one and is making $58 per hour. He is a graduate of AIM, the potential is there, but is there for the person who is just starting?? It's not the school, it's the person. There is no scam, there are just people who do not read when they are told to sign. You knew of all the things you had to do, you should have thought about it before you bit off more than you can chew.

And AIM does have airworthy aircraft. Visit www.fighterfactory.com they have a blog of the students rebuilding a plane now.

I don't mean to be rude, but you really should read what you sign before you putting your signature on it. If you do read it before hand, you might want to make sure you are willing and able to follow through with all of your obligations before you get in too deep.
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